LISTEN: JJ Delaney with incontrovertible proof Kilkenny powerhouse Michael Fennelly is not human 6 years ago

LISTEN: JJ Delaney with incontrovertible proof Kilkenny powerhouse Michael Fennelly is not human

Michael Fennelly is a beast of man.

Ten minutes into the second half of Sunday's Leinster SHC final victory Kilkenny were in danger of seeing their Richie Hogan-inspired comeback halted by a Galway score.


Davy Glennon emerged with a hard-won ball around the Kilkenny half-forward line and laid it back to an unmarked team-mate. From nowhere Fennelly appeared to put in a huge block. Possession was turned over, TJ Reid picked up the sliotar and put Kilkenny into a lead they would not relinquish.

It was just one snapshot from an immense second half performance, which saw the Ballyhale Shamrocks man and his midfield partner Conor Fogarty dominate their opponents Glennon and Daithí Burke.

Leinster GAA Senior Hurling Championship Final, Croke Park, Dublin 3/7/2016 Kilkenny vs Galway Kilkenny's Michael Fennelly Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

But the full scale of the 31-year-old's performance was only revealed on Monday, when his former Kilkenny team-mate JJ Delaney confirmed the long-whispered rumour that Fennelly does not train.


You read that right, Michael Fennelly, 2011 Hurler of the Year, does not practice hurling.

Because of ongoing back problems, he runs in straight lines at the side of the pitch while the rest of the team engage in their infamous Nowlan Park dust-ups.

He manages to play a training game a week before a big match, according to Delaney.

"He does have chronic injuries regarding his back and his hamstrings, but it all stems from his back," said the eight-time All-Ireland winner.

"He does have to mind himself and he has been doing that for the last four, four to five years. He knows his body."


Delaney was asked about Fennelly by former Galway forward Damien Hayes, both Hayes and Delaney feature on the brand new SportsJOE podcasts.

  • Colm Parkinson is SportsJOE's dedicated Gaelic games editor and will be presenting The GAA Hour, our new podcast. Four times a week Colm will be joined by a host of top-class pundits to analyse and preview the Championship action.
  • Starting on Monday July 11th, former Dublin footballer Barry Cahill and Conan Doherty will be alongside Colm to discuss the Connacht SFC final and all the qualifier action on 'The GAA Hour - Football'.
  • Also on Monday eight-time All-Ireland winner JJ Delaney and Galway legend Damien Hayes will join Colm and Mikey Stafford on 'The GAA Hour - Hurling' to pick over the Munster SHC final and Saturday's qualifier action.